Jair Oliveira, a renowned Brazilian music producer, singer, composer, musician and actor, has had a career deeply connected with music since a young age. He began his journey at the age of 6, participating in the recording of the track “Deus Salvador” on the 1981 album by his illustrious father, Jair Rodrigues, marking the beginning of his foray into the musical universe.
His foray into the famous children’s group “Balão Mágico” consolidated his presence, taking his music throughout Brazil and performing on a highly rated daily program on TV Globo during the 1980s, resulting in the sale of millions of phonograph copies.
In 1997, after a notable academic training at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston (USA), where he received academic honors, he graduated in Music Production and Music Management. Upon returning to Brazil, she established S de Samba, her sound production company in collaboration with Wilson Simoninha, consolidating her as one of the main companies in the field, working on artistic, television, cinematographic, radio, digital and advertising projects for more than 20 years. years.
As a prolific music producer, singer and songwriter, Jair Oliveira has released more than 13 albums in his solo career, including the successful multiplatform children’s project “Grandes Pequeninos”. His contribution to music includes the production of works for renowned Brazilian and international artists such as Tom Zé, Jair Rodrigues, MPB4, Luciana Mello, among others, and the composition of highly successful global advertising soundtracks.
He received nominations for the Latin Grammy Award, both as a producer and artist, and was recently nominated in the category of Best Contemporary Pop Album in the Portuguese Language for the 2019 album “Selfie”.
His latest album, “Tekoá”, which will be released in 2024, explores the power of collective creation and has as its central objective the collaboration with talents from the Marshmelody platform, providing a new dimension to music through their connections and partnerships.
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the song “Rede Essencial” and how it fits into the concept of the album “Tekoá”?
I think that not only the song “Rede Essencial”, but the entire concept of the album “Tekoá” emerged as a complement to my previous album, “Selfie”, from 2018, nominated for a Latin Grammy (2019), and which was produced together with Rogério Leão and recorded in New York. In “Selfie” I decided to expose my internal photographs – unlike the popular selfies today! That album seeks photography from our internal lights. In other words, the result of immersion, of in-depth research. It’s my most personal album. It was the result of what I am experiencing: maturity. This attempt to research myself through events – like my father’s departure, in 2014. So it’s an album all tied up in these songs that talk about this search. From the internal lights, from that personal immersion.
And the album “Tekoá” ends up being the culmination of this search – a complementary opposite! This deep and successful journey within myself brought this desire to connect with other people, with other creative minds. And that’s what the song “Redes Essíveis” brings. The song talks about this digital scenario, the emojis and all the symbols for this communication, but which, in reality, requires this face-to-face contact. It’s a song that talks about how we deal with this relationship, this closeness. How we deal with technology, whether or not we make an effort to have contact with others, especially face-to-face contact. Each song has a role within this album concept. In other words, this song within my “Tekoá” has the function of exposing, manifesting, addressing and fostering connectivity – digital and in-person.
The community project around the digital creative platform Marshmelody looks very interesting. How does it work and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Marshmelody emerged from the partnership I have with Wilson Simoninha at the sound production company S de Samba, in which we have been partners since 2000. In August 2021, with the consultancy of technology professionals from large companies in the United States such as Netflix and Google, we launched Marshmelody – a US-based global creative and digital music platform aimed at providing original music to creators of audiovisual content of any complexity.
So, I started looking for new partnerships with producers that I met through social media, some of them who had not yet had any showcase, other than the networks, and I started to open up and see a very interesting and creative universe within this collective mentality. And I started thinking that I had to make an album for this.
And on the album “Tekoá” it’s like this: the production is collective. Everyone has the freedom to put their ideas forward. I sent the songs to each of the collaborators and said: – ‘It’s a production showroom. Put it however you see fit.’ There are 12 songs where each one is produced alongside a different talent. This is the concept: of collective creativity, of a creative community, which I feel has enormous power and this happens when we open ourselves to new ideas, to other points of view and only collaborate for global creative growth. And I have been very satisfied with this experience of creating with other people, of delegating ideas, other producers, other production companies. The intention of this project within the platform is to ‘disease’, to open up new paths within music. I want to be surprised. And I have been very pleasantly surprised. It has worked a lot.
“Tekoá” is an indigenous term that means “village” or “community”. How is this concept reflected in your new album?
I came up with this title together with the Colombian artist Leo Macias, one of the great advertisers in the Brazilian scene, who is also doing beautiful graphic design work for the cover of the album and all the tracks. And, trying to explain to him a little about this concept of the album cover, we came up with this term. He suggested this word to me to represent what we felt the album establishes, which is this collective creativity. So, I tried to integrate each of the songs within “Tekoá”. In other words, each of the tracks has a vital role within that village – whether in the experience or in respecting certain issues. “Rede Essencial” has the function of exposing, demonstrating, addressing connectivity – digital and in-person. In another track the role of Feminine Power will fit, in another of Solidarity; another about Respect for Nature… There are 12 songs representing our global village.
You mentioned that “Rede Essencial” celebrates face-to-face human relationships. How does this song reflect this importance in an increasingly digital world?
It reflects this importance precisely by making a parallel and using terms that we generally associate with digital relationships and transferring them to face-to-face relationships. In the chorus, for example, there’s this joke: ‘Girl, we sail and we enjoy each other’. The lyrics are anchored in the idea of not separating the universes, also valuing something that we have lost, which is this delight of disconnecting and enjoying relationships, whether loving, with children, friends, family. It makes this parallel in a light way, but at the same time opening the mind so that these face-to-face issues can be well taken care of, otherwise we run the risk of only remaining in digital relationships, no longer having the privilege of having human relationships experienced in the real world.
The collaboration with Prateado, a samba reference, is notable. What was it like working with him on the creation of “Rede Essencial”?
Despite having known Prateado’s work for years, who is a great reference in the Samba universe, I only started talking in depth with him during the pandemic. In one of the lives that I usually did during the isolation period, Prateado asked to join the conversation and, from then on, we started exchanging messages. Three or four songs have already emerged. One of them is “Já é”, for Pedro Mariano. And now, “Rede Essencial’, which is the first newly released song from the album “Tekoá”. I am very grateful for this digital meeting.
“Rede Essencial” talks about establishing real, face-to-face love connections. What is the central message you want to convey with this song?
In “Selfie” I decided to expose my internal photographs. In “Tekoá” they are the external expressions. “Rede Essencial” aims to enhance personal relationships. It exalts technology, power (or strength) so that it can be converted into real relationships. Thus, it exalts the power (or strength) of human relationships.
Tell us about the importance of Ditto Music’s participation in music distribution. How does this influence the reach and accessibility of your music?
Ditto is a reputable distributor in the market, which also works with our S de Samba products. An old and successful partnership that serves practically all of our projects.
You mentioned that the song “Rede Essencial” is a celebration of the in-person exchange of experiences. How do you balance this idea with the influence of social media and digital communication on your music?
Digital exchanges are here to stay, that is, they are positive and nurture relationships and professional partnerships. For this album, not only partners, but also producers, such as Rodrigo Sha, Leandro Caldeira, Ananda Torres, Heloá Holanda, Matsuyama, Daniel Penido, Fábio Cadore… There are many producers that I justI connected digitally, for now. And it’s super valid for us to explore these relationships, this way of communicating, working. It’s my album that most values these connections.
How does Brazilian music, especially samba, play a role in “Rede Essencial” and the album “Tekoá”?
Samba has enormous importance in my work as a producer, as a musician. I am the son of a great performer of Brazilian music, who sang everything, but had a special relationship with samba. Jair Rodrigues was a born samba player and ended up passing on his passion for samba to both me and my sister, Luciana Mello, and samba is present even when I don’t compose samba – when I compose ballads, pop music. The way I divide the phrases, how I divide the melody, the lyrics… ends up being imperceptible, but I feel this influence all the time – from Brazilian music, Brazilian black music, samba. In “Tekoá” there are some sambas like “Rede Essencial” itself, which is a pop samba, which I composed with Prateado, who is a great exponent of samba. In the 12 tracks, four or five are sambas and the rest are not classified as samba, but they have this influence, almost imperceptible, but they do.
What message do you hope your audience takes away after listening to “Rede Essencial” and exploring the album “Tekoá”?
I would say it’s a great movement working to build this great artistic village. And so, I would like people to have that experience when exploring each of the tracks on this album that is so special to me. “Tekoá” is already an explosion of collaboration and I hope it is a tool that helps everyone think about this communion not only in music, but in the human experience.
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